THIEVES who target valuables left in parked vehicles are likely soon to find themselves the subject of RCMP stings.
RCMP's Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team announced Wednesday that "bait property cars" are soon to be strategically placed to complement the successful bait cars program.
"The program is going to be rolled out throughout the division, particularly in the Lower Mainland here especially as investigators look at high-risk areas," said Cpl. Richard De Jong, North Vancouver RCMP spokesman. "It's just a matter of time before we have that on the North Shore."
When a would-be thief attempts a smash-and-grab on a car planted by the RCMP and left with valuables in plain site, they are captured on a camera monitored by E-Comm 9-1-1, who can then dispatch officers to catch the offender red handed.
The same tactic has been used to nab hundreds of car thieves in the Lower Mainland since the program was introduced 10 years ago. According to RCMP stats, car thefts have fallen 73 per cent in the area in that time, though that may have a lot to do with changes in federal laws that mandate new cars come with alarms and immobilizers to prevent theft.
North Vancouver had 311 reports of stolen cars in 2007. That number has fallen steadily since with 133 cases in 2012. Theft from auto, is now the choice crime of opportunity, De Jong said.
West Vancouver Police Department operates a similar program.
The items most frequently stolen from cars: smartphones, electronics like laptops and GPS systems, tools, credit cards, stereo equipment and cash, according to IMPACT.
On Jan. 21, North Vancouver RCMP arrested man suspected of taking $9,000 worth of goods and jewelry from a parked vehicle.